- Bermuda has teamed up with Costco to distribute COVID-19 tests for people looking to travel to the island.
- Soon-to-be Bermuda travellers need to have a negative PCR coronavirus test within five days of arriving on the island.
- Costco and Azova Health’s $US140 self-administered saliva tests have a five-day test result turnaround time.
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Like other tourism hotspots around the world, Bermuda has recently seen a surge in coronavirus cases, and currently has a total of 624 confirmed cases, according to data from the World Health Organisation.
As a result, on December 21, the US issued an advisory to “reconsider travel” to Bermuda. And as of now, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommends avoiding travel to island and has classified Bermuda under its highest Level Four category for COVID-19.
However, the island is still accepting US travellers and has partnered with Costco to help make this possible.
In order to travel to Bermuda, a soon-to-be traveller 10-years-old or older must receive a negative PCR COVID-19 test result within five days prior to arrival, according to Bermuda’s travel protocols. The Costco kit â€” which posts test results within 48 hours â€” can do just that.
The island is the retail giant’s first “international destination” COVID-19 test partner, and the $US140 self-administered saliva testing kits can be used by US travellers and returning Bermuda residents, according to a news release announcing the partnership.
The tests â€” distributed by Azova Health â€” can now be purchased online or in-store at over 100 Costco locations. A Costco membership isn’t required to use the tests.
Azova Health’s saliva tests are “highly accurate” and Emergency Use Authorization-approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, according to the healthcare company’s website. This is also the same test that has been approved for Hawaii’s “pre-travel testing program.”
Accessing a testing kit is easy. Tests ordered online are shipped overnight to the test taker’s home. After the kit is registered and the sample is taken during a remote “sample collection observation” with Azova, the kit can be sent overnight to a lab. After the lab receives the sample, the result will be available within 12 to 48 hours.
These results can then be shared with Bermuda’s public health figures on the travel authorization portal.
“This is fantastic news for visitors and returning residents alike, and I wish to commend all involved for working to make this happen,” Kim Wilson, Bermuda’s minister of health, said in a statement on the news release. “Ensuring timely access to pre-arrival testing such as this approved PCR saliva test under observation is a huge gain for Bermuda.”
This isn’t the only effort Bermuda’s government agencies have taken to promote travel to the island. Bermuda has also partnered with OpenClear to give soon-to-be island travellers based in New York City quicker access to COVID-19 tests for testing results within 12 hours, according to OpenClear’s website.